Published: Fri, December 22, 2017
Money | By Michele Stevens

Belfast jobs fears grow as United States hits Bombardier with 300pc import duty

Belfast jobs fears grow as United States hits Bombardier with 300pc import duty

Delta Air Lines was originally expected to receive the first of its firm order for 75 CS100 planes next spring, but now plans to wait until the aircraft destined for USA customers will be built from the Airbus manufacturing plant in Alabama.

In response to the complaints, the U.S. Department of Commerce levied duties of close to 300% on Bombardier's aircrafts.

The US government made a decision to affix high anti-subsidy tariffs on the Bombardier's CSeries jets, after Boeing Co complained that the Canadian company had received unfair subsidy from their government which, it argued, allowed Bombardier to sell their new aeroplane below cost.

"The United States is committed to a free, fair and reciprocal trade and will always stand up for American workers and companies being harmed by unfair imports".

"The Commerce Department announced total duties of 292.21 percent - a final antidumping rate of 72.82 percent and a final countervailing duty rate of 212.39 percent - in a case brought by Chicago-based Boeing".

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Primary assembly of the C Series planes will remain in Quebec, but final assembly is to be moved to Airbus' existing manufacturing site in Mobile, Ala.

In the progress of the trade dispute, Bombardier agreed to sell a majority interest in the CSeries program to Airbus, intensifying the completion in that product category for Boeing.

Unifor will continue to work with Unite, the union representing Bombardier workers in Northern Ireland, on a shared strategy to protect good paying aviation jobs.

The decision is not necessarily final; it could be overturned if the U.S. International Trade Commission finds that Boeing did not suffer material injury as a result of the Delta sale; the ITC's final decision is expected on february 1.

The inquiry now moves to the United States worldwide trade commission, which will examine if the dumping and subsidies caused injury to Boeing.

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"Attempts by Boeing to put tens of thousands of aerospace workers out of work across Canada is not something we look on positively", Trudeau said in October after pressing Trump on the matter. It includes a 79.82% tariff to offset a Commerce Department ruling that Bombardier engaged in price dumping, meaning it sold the CS100s to Delta below its fair market value by that amount.

In a hearing on 18 December, the four commissioners in the ITC betrayed no obvious slant, grilling executives and experts from Bombardier and Boeing about equally.

"There's no case here", Bombardier's Bellemare said, calling the complaint "ridiculous".

The partnership with Airbus means there is "no chance Boeing will be harmed by imports", said Mike Nadolski, vice president of public affairs at Bombardier.

The question now before the ITC is whether those improper benefits injured Boeing in the 100-150-seat market for commercial aircraft.

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